Reports Media & Marketing

The Death of the Monthly Active User Redefining User Metrics For The App Era

Report by Zach Fuller
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20,000-Foot View: The Monthly Active User (MAU) metric is the default measure of digital services but its usefulness is lessening. While it offered desktop-era services a better alternative to page views, its use for mobile apps is increasingly anachronistic. With the advent of smartphones, users are absorbing app-based services far more intimately into their lives, consequently leading to frequency of activity going far beyond monthly usage. To focus on whether someone briefly looks at a website or app in an environment in which weekly and daily user engagement is ever more pervasive quite simply misses the point. Digitally native companies such as those from the mobile gaming industry have already long moved beyond the limitations of the MAU, now it is the turn of the rest of the pack to follow. 

Key Findings:

  • MAUs are being measured differently by individual companies, with the metric easily distorted by services looking to boost their image for investors
  • The average App only retains XXX of its customers after one month
  • Mobile user behaviour online is more task driven and absorbs particular services far more intimately compared to desktop behaviour
  • Mobile gaming is setting the bar for next generation user metrics including indicators such as ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active XXX of smartphone users are now using up to XXX apps per day
  • The potential for bots and messaging apps to disrupt the app economy means in-app refined analytics become crucial to modern e-commerce

Companies Mentioned In This Report: Amazon, Apple, BuzzFeed, Facebook, Instagram, King, Mashable, Netflix, Path, QQ Music, XXX Snapchat, Spotify, SoundCloud, Supercell, Twitter, Vine, WhatsApp, YouTube, Zynga

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